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Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

EFT is a simple self-healing technique that has produced remarkable results without the use of drugs or invasive procedures. EFT is a tool that helps you deal with negative emotions, heal old wounds and make necessary lifestyle changes. EFT has been described as “emotional acupuncture” and can be helpful for a variety of physical and emotional issues:

  • Pain management
  • Weight loss
  • Performance in sports, school, work
  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

The basic theory behind EFT:  

  1. Traumatic or negative events cause blockages in the flow of energy through the body. Old memories are stored in the tissues of the body as these areas of blocked energy and become linked to a stress response in the body.
  2. The memory of the old negative event triggers the stress response to occur (which may cause physical and/or emotional symptoms such as anxiety, palpitations, nausea, etc.)
  3. EFT works by breaking the link between the memory and the stress response and reconnecting the memory with a feeling of safety and calmness.

The two components of EFT:

  1. Tapping works on the physical level because tapping on the acupuncture points shown on the diagram sends a calming signal to the brain, telling it that you are safe and disrupting the usual stress response that gets triggered by old memories.
  2. Affirmation works on the mental level because you recite your problem and pair it with a positive statement (that you love and accept yourself).

The steps of EFT:

  1. Define the problem. Be clear and specific about the problem you would like to address with EFT, which can be an event, emotion, symptom or belief (e.g. My fear of heights, My chronic headaches, My anger toward my sister.)
  2. Identify where in your body you feel distress from this problem and rate the level of distress on a scale from 0 to 10, where 10 is maximum intensity.
  3.  Create an affirmation statement. Use the following template or create your own: “Even though I have ____________ (name the problem), I deeply and completely accept (love, forgive) myself.”

Other examples:

            “Even though I have _____, I’m OK OR I’ll feel better soon OR I’m still a good person OR everything is improving.”

   4.   The Setup: Repeat your affirmation statement 3 times while you continuously tap on the Karate Chop point of the left hand using the fingertips of the right hand (or you may reverse the hands if you prefer.)

    5.  Tapping:  Now you progressively tap on the rest of the tapping points while repeating to yourself the target problem from your affirmation  (e.g. "this headache" or "my anxiety" or "this trauma.")

    6. Take a deep breath when you finish tapping. 

    7.  Rate the level of distress once again to see if it has lessened. If there is still some distress present, repeat the entire exercise using a modified affirmation: "Even though I still have some of this ______..." 

Watch a video showing the tapping points.

Watch additional EFT videos.

Listen to EFT podcasts

Tips for using EFT:

    1. Set aside a regular time every day to practice EFT.

    2. Avoid other distractions while doing EFT.

    3. Always try to connect physical symptoms with the accompanying emotion. 

    4. Be as specific as possible in your description of the problem.

    5. Base your affirmation on how the problem feels to you, rather than on how someone has described it for you. 

Copyright ©2010 Karen Wyatt, MD

This website is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your personal healthcare provider before using any treatment for a health problem.